John Boyega, Ed Speleers and Jesse Plemons in Contention for Lead in New Star Wars Movie
03.13.14 by BJSprecher
It was two weeks ago that we learned that Girls breakout Adam Driver will be the new face of evil in J.J. Abrams' highly anticipated sequel to Return of the Jedi, and it appears that we will soon know the young Jedi apprentice who will be facing off against Driver's Vader-esque character. According to Variety, multiple sources have confirmed that the actors on Abrams' short list to play the hero include Ed Speleers (Eragon), John Boyega (Attack the Block) and Jesse Plemons (The Master), along with stage actors Matthew James Thomas and Ray Fisher.
The diverse ethnicity of the top contenders for the lead role adds weight to the rumors that Abrams is straying from the original script for Star Wars: Episode VII drafted by Michael Arndt, which was said to focus on the children of Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher). The decision to cast a non-Caucasian in the lead is apparently a subject of debate among "execs and creatives" and the primary reason for the delay in casting the role, Variety notes.
Principal photography on Star Wars: Episode VII was initially slated to begin in May and run through September, but the start date has apparently been pushed back to late-second quarter/early-third quarter of the year. The movie's planned release date of December 18, 2015, has not been affected by this shift.